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​Overview of the Competition

Premise

Pennsylvania is home to some of the most technologically diverse and scientifically sophisticated companies in the world. With these avenues for STEM employment existing in our communities, it is important that our students understand the concepts and skills that will be invaluable in moving citizens into these high value occupations. To that end, we are creating an annual themed competition focused on exposing students to these jobs, skills, and concepts.

Theme

This year’s theme is, “Improving Pennsylvania Through STEM.”

Challenge Information

Teams of students from across the commonwealth will be challenged to research, present, and design a device/project that can make the quality of life better for citizens of Pennsylvania. High school teams will be provided a $500 stipend to design and build a prototype of their device/project that can accomplish a series of tasks, provide a solution to a community based problem, and improves the lives of Pennsylvanians.

In the identification and research of a team’s authentic problem, students will engage with their local communities to learn about STEM-related careers. Developing solutions to problems rooted in the community will build the skills necessary for students to be successful in STEM opportunities postsecondary. To culminate the experience, students will be asked to present their findings and explain the practical applications of their device to a panel of judges. The challenge will test teams’ communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills while providing a unique opportunity to share their creativity with students from across the state.

Eligibility

The competition is open to students in grades 9 through 12 attending public, charter, private, and career technical education centers in Pennsylvania. Schools will select a team of up to five students. Students will work under the guidance of a teacher mentor approved by the school.